Weekend Links: More on Cedillo’s North Fig torpedo, win a Linus bike, and bid on biking with Sharon McNary

Lots of bike news this weekend.

So grab some coffee and settle in for some serious reading. Then get out on your bike; it looks like a perfect weekend for riding.

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CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s apparent attempt to torpedo the North Figueroa road diet, for reasons known only to him, has resulted in significant blowback from the bicycling and transportation communities.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says there may be political reasons to oppose the road diet. But calls BS on the fears of delayed emergency response cited by police and fire officials, who were apparently talking off the cuff and not officially representing their departments. According to Linton, the issue has previously been studied extensively by the city and found to pose no significant impact.

Meanwhile, in an open letter to Cedillo, BAC Chair Jeff Jacobberger questions what authority the city has to replace previously approved bike lanes with less-safe sharrows, and whether we can now expect the same wrench to be thrown into other planned bike projects.

Apparently Cedillo is betting the damage done to his reputation in his first year as a council member will be long forgotten by the time he has to stand for re-election in another three years.

He may be right.

But I wouldn’t bet on it. Bike riders have long memories.

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Estaban Chavez wins Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California, as the race moves on to Saturday’s Pasadena finish. More on Taylor Phinney’s exciting solo ride to victory on Thursday’s Stage 5 of the Tour of California, while Wiggo is back on top of the race and his game.

Peloton says to expect the unexpected in this year’s Giro, which still has two weeks to go after the ToC wraps up on Sunday; Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni wins his second Giro stage in four days.

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Now this is a great idea. A new lockable bike stem makes your bike unsteerable if it’s stolen. Just don’t lose the key.

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Looks like cab companies are fighting back against Uber, Lyft, et al. Download the Taxi Magic LA app and enter the code BIKEMAGIC before 5 pm Monday the 19th, and you’ll be entered to win one of five new Linus bikes.

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Pasadena public radio station KPCC’s online public auction ends at 1 pm today.

So you only have a few hours to bid on a pair of bike rides with one of the city’s top political reporters. Submit the winning bid, and you can enjoy a coastal bike tour along PCH or a beach cruiser bike tour from Santa Monica to Hermosa Beach with reporter, cyclist and triathlete Sharon McNary.

With current bids of just $60 and $100, respectively, at the time of this writing, both are seriously undervalued. Which gives you a chance to step in and snap up a great ride with a fascinating and friendly guide for a just fraction of what it’s really worth.

But only if you hurry.

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Local

Why it makes sense to bike to work in LA.

Just a few short years ago, at least some Malibu city officials were vehemently anti-bike. Now they’re teaming with other cities surrounding the Malibu Hills to develop a regional bike plan. Link courtesy of Bicycle Fixation’s Richard Risemberg.

Streetsblog calls West Hollywood’s La Brea Streetscape project a missed opportunity — especially when it comes to bikes.

 

State

San Diego is sitting on 200 racks for their planned bike share system as the city debates where to put them.

The Visalia paper offers tips to keep you safe on your bike. And unlike most newspapers, gets it right.

The Tesla driver who blamed that new car smell for making him fall asleep and kill a Santa Cruz cyclist faces up to one year in jail after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge. Note to motorists: if you feel sleepy, pull over, dammit.

 

National

Five ways bicycling can make or save you money that goes way beyond the usual suspects — including raising the value of your home and giving you a tax break.

Google Maps now provides elevation data for their bike routes to help you avoid hills. Or find them, if you prefer a challenge.

People for Bikes offers 14 ways to make bike lanes better.

Vox says it’s time to stop forcing bike riders to wear helmets. Personally, I’m a firm believer in wearing a helmet; I credit mine with saving my life and brain in a solo fall seven years ago. But too many people — especially non-riders — don’t realize they’re only designed to protect against impacts up to 12.5 mph.

Bikeyface considers the issue of unwanted advice, while Bike Snob offers advice on how to avoid confrontations on the street.

A local website offers an anti-bike hatchet job in honor of Seattle’s Bike to Work Day. Note to MyNorthwest: motorists have been known to run red lights, fail to signal and act with a sense of entitlement, too.

A Colorado driver faces anywhere from two to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing a cyclist. Prosecutors dropped charges that she was allegedly drunk when she fell asleep at the wheel while on her way to a court hearing for a previous DUI case.

A popular Indianapolis bike trail shows benefits for local businesses where it parallels a main street, not so much where it doesn’t.

 

International

Our Vancouver friend Chris Bruntlett decries the irrational culture of fear that surrounds bicycling.

A UK letter writer says there’s no evidence bike riders endanger pedestrians.

This is why you need to shift your hand position frequently, as a British cyclist loses her life after crashing into a house when cyclist’s palsy leaves her unable to squeeze her brakes.

 

Finally…

A new bike seat on springs promises to isolate your butt from road bumps. And in case you wondered, you can fit 42 folding bikes in a single parking space.

 

One comment

  1. Mark Elliot says:

    Re: first responder position on bicycle lanes, we had the same issue arise in Beverly Hills. Our transportation staff penned a report to our Blue Ribbon committee that not only recommended against class II lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard, but put a thumb on the scale against lanes by quoting our police department’s Sgt. Mader as saying that the department didn’t recommend bicycle lanes for the corridor. That gave bike lane opponents on our committee an opportunity to reject it as a design option.

    But our department has neither taken, nor takes today, any such position. In an April Council meeting, we heard from both the fire and police chiefs and both were explicit: bicycle lanes would NOT hinder response times. Their statements came in response to a question from Mayor Lili Bosse, who, for the second time in Council session, highlighted the staff report’s misrepresentation of the department’s position.

    I had earlier asked Mader himself at a January committee meeting about his quote. He said that he was not speaking for the department; and that he personally didn’t oppose class II lanes, only that he couldn’t support including them “at the boulevard’s current width.” (Well, who could? Today’s corridor is irregular in width and class II lanes simply wouldn’t fit at the minimum 60′ width.)

    Just goes to show how the political thumb can hit the scale to the disadvantage of riders (and road safety generally).

    Up next in Beverly Hills: On Tuesday May 20th at 2:30 the reconstruction project comes back before Council, but according to the agenda is limited to cost discussion with design options deferred to later. We’ll be talking about what to expect on Tuesday and of course wrap it up afterward at betterbike.org.

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